Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Learning to Swallow

I haven't been in the mood to type blog posts lately.  It has been more fun to sleep and read.  And I have been trying to get office work done, a little every day. I just can't get enthused about writing just now, but I do want to update one in a while, but it may not be very often.  
 It's been pretty well accepted that I would have to learn to swallow all over again, and it seemed like now was the time since I was having mucus that I needed to swallow and that wasn't happening either. So, I went to a speech therapist Friday and a dear lady named Edna has me swallow water which I coughed up and she tried thickened liquid which I promptly threw up.  I gag so easily She then gave me various exercises to do which include howling like a coyote. saying "ah" several times. Those two exercises are done while squeezing my hands together.  The pressure of the hands somehow gives more "oomph" to the inside, too. I have to say 10 words that start with "g" or "k", blow a party favor, swallow three times with my tongue between my teeth, and say, "Please go get me a good magazine". These are for strengthening the tongue and throat muscles.  Believe it or not the howling one is the easiest, even though it is pretty funny to be howling around.  
Then on Monday I had a modified Barium swallow where I swallowed various thickness of liquids and watch the x-ray as it goes down.  Jim watched too, and they set it up so I could see it and evaluate it.  The water wants to get into the windpipe but comes back up so quickly to be swallowed so there are no worries there and the applesauce went down nicely, too.  It hurts a bit, so does the water, but not as bad.  In fact, it might be a bit early for all this swallowing since my throat is still sore, but I will try to keep plugging on.  I'm starting with a little applesauce and water every day. 
This afternoon I had therapy in the new outpatient physical therapy room at the hospital. The new area is just corridors and rooms and it is hard to find where things are.  I didn't remember where it was, and I'm not sure I could find it again, but mom says she can.  She just gave me some more things to say, some swabs to put in the freezer to stimulate my tongue.  I hope I'm not jumping the gun too much, since my throat still hurts.  I wish it would get healed up.   So Friday, I have an appointment with the radiation dr. and another session with the therapist.  So, things are just going to be marching on for awhile.  Next week, I go to Omaha on Tues.  They want to get an MRI.
It takes a lot longer to get all healed up than a body thinks.

13 comments:

Renee said...

Oh, Shelley, I just had to chuckle thinking of you letting out a coyote's howl every now and then. I just never thought about you needing to learn to swallow again..My! ~ don't we take our bodies functions SO for granted when all is working properly?! Don't expect too much of your body too soon...it has been through the wringer and it needs lots and lots of time to heal. You are doing amazing and don't blog if you don't feel like it...just do the things that make you happy right now...you DESERVE it.

The J's said...

Yes, I can just imagine you practicing those howls... hehe! Hope the check-up's go well!!

Dorothy K said...

Aargh we wish it would too! Get healed up, I mean. Jim mentioned lately that a doctor said your throat looks like a bomb has gone off in it. I think that gives me the most accurate picture of what it's like to get everything back in working order again. Anyway...I'm so glad you don't have to start with pickled herring or something. Applesauce seems like a nice friendly food at this point! March march march...it's called "soldiering on"! And we applaud your efforts.
Love you, Dodie

Jeanne Ogden said...

Dear Shelly, don't go to fast to move at a pace with your healing. Did you practice your wolf howls outside for halloween? I am glad to read were the applesauce and thickened water is being used in someone who is getting better and not because you are getting worse because that is were I have seen it before. Thinking of you and your learning to swallow again.

John and Sandy Linder said...

Healing wishes for you!

Darcie said...

I guess I was totally in the dark to realize that you would have to relearn how to swallow too. Wow, Shelly...what a road. Like the other lady said...all the little things we take for granted, makes me want to be more, and more thankful for ALL the little things.

gkey said...

Dear Learning,
Keep up the good work! You are a strong fighter, and we are all so proud of you! I am glad you refered to sleeping and reading as your recent fun. Both are good for you I am sure.

Bit by bit you are recovering :-)

Anonymous said...

Dear Shelley,
You are such a trooper! When I read about swallowing the thickened water, my stomach lurched before I even read that you threw it up! Ugh! I'm so glad, though, that you "push on" so faithfully and don't have a "give-up" attitude! I'm sure you DID feel funny howling, and I'm sure others around you got a kick out of it too! Keep on keeping on in all ways!
Barb K.

John and Sandy Linder said...

Just stopping by with a warm Hello~

John and Sandy Linder said...

Dropping to say Hello and hoping you are progressing everyday~

Ann-alda said...

We are friends from TN who have been following Gramma's blog. We have been worried since there has been no post since Oct. 31. Could someone else give us an update on her? We care.

Unknown said...

Diddo! Friends from IL and we care, also!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, G'ma, Hope all is well with you and yours!! IL. friends